Friday was Dr. Seuss's birthday. I am always eager for an opportunity to celebrate, so typical to my overzealous style I threw myself into everything Seussical. Donning a touring Cat in the Hat style hat and carrying bags of eggs, bacon, and multicolored cream filled cake balls, I entered Robby's classroom ready for an hour of lunchtime fun. One look at the faces of the Kindergartners was my first clue that something was amiss.
It turns out that Robby's beloved Kindergarten teacher was no longer working at the school. She left suddenly on Wednesday without saying goodbye to her students or the parents. Obviously a serious personnel issue must have transpired! Robby learned of Miss Dominique's departure when he overheard two teaching assistance gossiping during recess. When I saw him at lunchtime, he wrapped his arms around me and began to sob. He was devastated!
When I asked who I thought was the substitute but who is apparently the new teacher about Miss Dominique leaving, she simply said, "There will be a note announcing it in his cubby at the end of the day. I'm the teacher now." No introduction, no explanations and no attempt at shielding the class from the information. I was not impressed.
I served the green eggs and ham and promptly excused myself from the classroom. I retreated to my car, where I began to cry. I don't know the reasons for his teacher leaving, but Miss Dominique will always hold a special place. She was Robby's first teacher and lovingly helped guide both of us through the difficult transition to school. It broke my heart that we couldn't say goodbye or even say thank you for everything she did for us.
After gathering my composure I returned to the classroom to continue our Seussical celebration. Robby and his friends were easily distracted with primary colored cake balls and happy face cupcakes. Despite the bad news, we had a fun party.
Per our routine, we stopped by Mr. Bill's house on the way home from school With a quivering lip and trying to hold back tears, Robby tried to explain Miss Dominique's departure to Mr. Bill. By this time I had passed grief and had entered a much more functional stage of acceptance- rage.
I was furious about the way the teacher change was handled by the administration. Robby should not have learned of his teacher's departure by overhearing gossip; we should have been able to talk with him about the situation before school. After all, the letter hurriedly stuffed into his cubby that afternoon was dated February 29th! It should not have taken two days for this information to reach the parents and students.
At Mr. Bill's urging, I drove back to the school to voice my concerns. I was hesitant because I don't want to gain a reputation as an intrusive parent. However, this situation had me concerned, and I knew that if I didn't address the issues, I would have continued to stew and simmer throughout the weekend.
I spoke with school director about obvious disconnect in disseminating this important information. I reassured her that I did not want to know the details surrounding the departure, but my gripe stemmed from my not being informed of a change in teacher. I simply asked that, should this situation occur in the future, they please email me or call me so that I can tell Robby myself before he overhears gossiping teachers. I was assured that the new teacher was qualified. I replied by agreeing that she probably was, but reminded the director that none of the parents even knew the new teacher's name not to mention her qualifications!
Robby becomes emotional when he talks about Miss Dominique leaving, but I have been trying to remain upbeat and excited about his getting to know a brand new teacher. We made a goodbye card for Dominique as well as a welcome to the class card for the new teacher (whose name I still don't know). I hope that this transition is smooth for everybody involved.